Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

Caravan Forced Back at Mexican Border

Caravan Forced Back at Mexican Border

President Donald Trump on Thursday threatened to send the US military to close the nation's southern border if Mexico can not stop migrants traveling north from Guatemala toward the United States.

A caravan of 3,000 migrants is moving north through Central America and toward the USA southern border - on a collision course with the midterm elections, as yet another factor that could sway voters.

Trump also threatened to upend a pending trade deal with Mexico that took more than a year to negotiate and is created to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The issue with Trump's threat is that deploying active USA military troops for domestic law enforcement duties is illegal, unless he declares a national emergency and is granted a waiver by Congress. The president announced plans in April to send thousands of National Guard troops to the border, where they could remain until his promised wall is constructed.

One of the migrants, Juan Escobar, 24, said he had heard about Trump's comments but said they would not dissuade the migrants from continuing their journey.

Illegal immigration is likely to be a top issue in November 6 US congressional elections. Some climbed atop the gate and the USA -donated jeeps as they clamoured to be allowed to pass.

The group has been dubbed the "march of the migrants".

In a speech Thursday night, Trump accused the Democrats of paving the way for the caravan with their sanctuary city policies.

Mexican authorities are particularly wary of migrants attempting to cross the Suchiate River that forms the southwestern border with Guatemala, a popular illegal route into Mexico.

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In Mexico, authorities say that any immigrant who crosses the border illegally will be deported.

The migrants hope to enter Mexico and cross the country to reach the United States.

The Mexican government has sought assistance from the United Nations refugee agency to help process migrants claiming refugee status at the southern border, a step that could allow it to disperse the train of people and placate Trump. During a presidential debate, Lopez Obrador indicated his administration would stop doing "dirty work" for the United States by detaining Central American migrants. López Obrador, the president-elect, will take over December 1.

It remains unclear how many migrants were able to successfully enter Mexico by force.

"This migration will only continue unless we keep up the pressure and provide the support to make the Northern Triangle of Central America a prosperous and secure place to call home", he wrote in an op-ed in the Washington Post.

19 that the caravan turned back when it got to the Mexico-Guatemala border.

"The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA", he said.

But those troops serving there have very limited duties and cannot detain or arrest suspected undocumented immigrants nor can majority carry weapons.

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